Seong Gi-Hun red hair explained: Why did Squid Game player dye his hair?

Squid Game official trailer from Netflix

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WARNING: The following article contains spoilers readers may wish to avoid.

Seong Gi-Hun (played by Lee Jung-Jae) was the protagonist for Squid Game, with viewers following the story of the South-Korean, both inside and outside of the game, throughout the nine episodes. The Netflix series ended with the character deciding to change the colour of his hair from brunette to red in what seemed to be a rather random moment in the finale. However, there was a reason why this happened and it was fundamental to where Gi-Hun goes next.

Why did Seong Gi-Hun dye his hair red on Squid Game?

One year after he had managed to win the Squid Game, which took the lives of 455 other players, Gi-Hun had returned to Seoul.

With his mother having died whilst he was participating in the life or death event and his daughter living in America, the character had become somewhat of a lost soul.

He hadn’t spent any of the money he’d acquired in winning the six deadly games, which had generated some interest from the creator of the Squid Game and player 001, Oh Il-nam (Oh Young-soo).

On his death bed, he explained to player 456 why he had created such a deadly form of entertainment for the wealthy members of society after asking Gi-Hun to come and visit him.

When the old man passed away, it seemed the protagonist of the drama wanted to start afresh and went to visit a hair salon.

Looking at pictures on the wall, he told the hairdresser to make him look like one of the models who sported red hair.

It was all part of the plan, according to director Hwang Dong-hyuk, who explained it was done for the symbolism of the finale and where Gi-Hun was in his life.

The Korean director said: “I thought about this intuitively. Thinking about how Gi Hun should change his hair in a hair salon.

“I imagined being him and thought to myself, ‘what is the colour that you would never choose to dye your hair?’”

I thought about this intuitively

Hwang Dong-Hyuk

“Then I came to the conclusion that Gi Hun would never dye his hair red,” Dong-hyuk continued in an interview with Zapzee.

The director added: “It would be the craziest thing for him to do. So I chose the colour and I thought it really showed his inner anger.”

Despite this explanation, viewers were still confused, with Ellie writing on Twitter: “Just finished Squid Game. Let’s just put everything else aside for a moment…the red hair. What the f**k? What was the reason?”

Chez posted: “I have so many questions after finishing squid game and the first question I have is why red hair?”

Did Seong Gi-Hun actor Lee Jung-jae dye his hair red for Squid Game?

According to the actor who plays Gi-Hun, Jung-Jae, he too was confused when he discovered his character was going to have red hair at the end.

Explaining his thoughts, Jung-Jae shared: “The red hair was actually on the script. I talked to the director and asked why I should dye my hair red because it’s a colour that ordinary men at Gi-Hun’s age don’t do.

“I think it was a will to show actions that go beyond the limits that people think Gi-Hun would never do,” he continued.

Asked whether he actually dyed his hair for the role, it seems the actor wasn’t convinced by going all the way.

Jung-Jae said: “If I dye my hair red, I can’t do anything else [work related]. I wore a wig, and it suited me well,” he told Kbizoom.

The actor also told the publication why he took the role, explaining: “As I got older, I only received calls for the roles with strong characteristics or villains.

“In most of my recent works, my characters had to arouse the tension in the movies, so I wanted to show a new kind of acting.

“At that moment, director Hwang Dong-Hyuk suggested the role of Gi-Hunn. Therefore, I thought after such a long time, it would be nice to act the role of a man that you can see in everyday life.”

Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix.

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